The Los Angeles Rams lost their second preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium on Saturday, 34-17. Rams starting quarterback Matthew Stafford and star defensive tackle Aaron Donald did not see preseason action. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp remained out with a hamstring injury.
The Raiders started quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who led the first scoring drive for the Silver and Black, completing all four passes for 39 yards. This game was Garoppolo’s first since December 4, 2022, when he suffered a season-ending injury to his foot. The Raiders are 2-0 in 2023 preseason matchups.
Garoppolo expressed his gratitude that Raider head coach Josh McDaniels thought it vital that he get reps in this game to find his groove. A decision Garoppolo advocated for and received.
“Felt good just to knock some of the rust off, get in the game flow with some of the guys,” Garoppolo said. “I wanted to play, so I’m glad Josh let the starters get out there and get a couple of reps in.”
Despite the loss, there were bright spots for the Rams; Rams linebacker Jacob Hummel returned an interception for 21 yards in the second quarter for a touchdown to tie the game 10-10.
Rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett started in place of Stafford and finished with respectable numbers: 15 of 24 passes for 142 yards, and rushed for a touchdown. He made a costly mistake when Raider safety Isaiah Pola-Mao picked off his pass and returned 50 yards for a Raider touchdown.
“He ran the one that was called, and I threw the one that wasn’t,” Bennett said, “and I paid for it.”
When asked about Bennett’s play, McVay responded by highlighting his youth:
“He’s a young player and continuing to learn,” McVay said. The Rams drafted the two-time NCAA champion who led the Georgia Bulldogs to back-to-back National Championships with a fourth-round pick in the 2023 draft. Bennett is competing for the backup QB spot with Brett Rypien.
Rookie tight end Davis Allen made his SoFi debut, leading the team with eight catches for 53 yards. Rams head coach Sean McVay seemed pleased with his performance saying:
“Targeted eight times, made eight catches…but I thought he competed well without the ball, also. It was an awesome debut for him,” McVay said.
Rams linebacker Jake Hummel had five tackles for the night, along with his interception that he returned for a Rams TD. Safety John Johnson stood out on defense with four tackles.
The Rams will host a joint practice with the Denver Broncos before traveling to the mile-high city for their week three preseason game next Saturday.